LOVELAND, Colo. (KDVR) — Barry Wesley may be a 6-foot-7-inch, 300-pound offensive lineman for the Colorado State University football team but on June 11, he felt powerless.
“I just remember crying and starting to let all my emotions out and saying, ‘Please don’t kill me, please don’t kill me,’ and he said, ‘Oh, don’t worry, the police are going to do that for me,'” said Wesley, describing the day he was forced to the ground at gunpoint by a man Loveland police have identified as Scott Gudmundsen.
Wesley is biracial. He and a white coworker had been knocking on doors in Gudmundsen’s neighborhood to solicit business for a roofing company when Gudmundsen allegedly yelled at them, demanding their identification.
That was on June 10 and that same afternoon, Gudmundsen allegedly called the roofing company to say he “did not want Antifa or Mexicans or Blacks in my neighborhood,” according to a motion filed by Wesley’s civil attorney Qusair Mohamedbhai.
On June 11, unaware of Gudmundsen’s exact words to his employer, Wesley returned to the same neighborhood with his white coworker only having been told to avoid Gudmundsen. But police say Gudmundsen spotted the two door-to-door roofing salesman and ran at them wearing military-style clothing and demanded they lie on the ground as he pointed a gun at them.
“Put his knee on the back of my neck and jammed his rifle into my back and at that point, my life was flashing through my eyes,” said Wesley.
Larimer County prosecutors filed seven counts against Gudmundsen, including felony menacing, impersonating a peace officer, prohibited use of a firearm and false imprisonment.
But Wesley and Mohamedbhai want another count added: a bias-motivated hate crime.
“If this is not a hate crime, then truly it’s unclear what could be a hate crime,” said Mohamedbhai.
The civil rights attorney has filed a motion asking a judge to hold a hearing to determine if prosecutors should be compelled to file the additional charge.
“It could not be more obvious. Mr. Gudmundsen avoided the white coworker and went straight to Mr. Wesley and does an execution-style gun to Mr. Wesley’s back. He puts a knee in George Floyd style to Mr. Wesley’s neck. He has made multiple statements to individuals that he does not want Blacks in his neighborhood. He dons white supremacy paraphernalia on his clothing,” said Mohamedbhai, whose motion includes a screenshot from a Facebook posting in which Gudmundsen is wearing a shirt some associate with white supremacists.
“It’s common sense, this is really, you know, racially motivated and it should be considered a hate crime and for the DA’s office not to do that is really disappointing,” said Wesley.
In a statement to the Problem Solvers, the Larimer County district attorney said:
“Ethically, our office cannot file and prosecute criminal charges for which insufficient admissible evidence exists to prove those charges beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law. Our office has carefully reviewed the investigative files in this matter, and we believe the charges previously presented and accepted by the court are ethically supported by admissible evidence. It should be noted that the criminal charges in this case are only allegations and the defendant is presumed innocent until those charges are proven beyond a reasonable doubt in court.”
Gudmundsen’s adult son Tyler Gudmundsen spoke to FOX31 by phone last summer and said, “My dad is very sick. He is mentally ill. He isn’t, nor has he ever been racist. This was like someone flipped a switch on his mental state.”
Mohamedbhai isn’t buying it, telling the Problem Solvers, “The claim of mental health in these type of situations is very much reserved for a certain gender and a certain race. It’s being taken not very seriously by us.”
“I think it’s just a cop-out and that’s what the trend is. When someone does a crazy act like that, that’s the first move that they go to, to defend themselves,” Wesley said.
A judge has yet to decide if he’s going told a hearing to determine if hate crime charges should be filed over the objection of prosecutors.